Greater Boston’s Getting a Dog Bar (and More Local Food and Drink News)

Plus, three food events to put on your calendar this month.

A woman holding a beer is wearing a small dog in a forward-facing carrier and smiling while petting another dog that is licking her face.

Park-9 Dog Bar will open in Everett early next year. / Photo courtesy of Park-9 Dog Bar

Welcome to our weekly news roundup, keeping you up to date on tidbits of Boston-area restaurant news. Got info that should be on our radar? Send an email.

Catch up on last week’s news

As the days swing back and forth from pleasant spring-like weather to chilly fall, life marches on, and we keep thinking about comfort food. Last week, we updated our guide to Greater Boston’s best mac ‘n’ cheese, showcasing 15 must-try options in and near the city. We also rounded up four road-trip-worthy New England restaurants that feature tropical cuisines, from the Caribbean to South America, so you can enjoy bright, bold flavors on your ski trips this winter. And we took a dive into the sunshine-filled sandwiches and more at Shirley, a new takeout spot in Somerville’s Davis Square.

What else is going on?

  • You’ve probably heard about cat cafés (including the one possibly opening on Beacon Hill), but how about dog bars? Park-9 Dog Bar, a dog-park-meets-bar with the slogan “where dogs bring their humans,” is slated to open in Everett early next year, featuring a full bar and on- and off-leash areas, both indoors and out. Park-9 will also offer doggie daycare during the week, cofounder Emily Gusse tells Boston. Watch for updates on Instagram—or apply to be general manager!
  • Lots of restaurant expansions in the works these days—here are few to keep an eye on: Chilacates, the excellent local taqueria chain with half a dozen locations, is reportedly looking to open in a former Anna’s Taqueria space in Brookline. Down in Dedham, retail development Legacy Place will snag locations of steakhouse chain the Capital Grille and casual vegetarian chain Life Alive, set to open in spring and fall 2023, respectively. And the rapidly expanding New York-based café chain Blank Street Coffee opened its second Boston location over the weekend on Charles Street and plans to open on Boylston Street on November 18, with more locations to come next year. A press release confidently describes the chain as “the first coffee company to marry quality and affordability,” which seems like…a bit of a bold statement. Seasonal specials like a hot honey latte and candy-cane cold brew sound tasty, though, and baked goods come from local spots like the delicious Salem bakery A&J King.
  • And in other expansion news, but a bit farther from Boston: Providence’s destination-worthy Oberlin announced this week that it’ll be moving across the street over the summer into a space that will allow for a new wood-burning oven, a larger wine cellar, expanded hours (lunch! brunch!), and other improvements. The team will also open a new raw bar and restaurant called Gift Horse around spring 2023; it’ll be a neighbor to the new Oberlin space.
  • Some sad restaurant closures happening in and near Boston: Today was the final day for Café Madeleine, a beloved little South End bakery that had been in business for the better part of a decade. In Cambridge, all four locations of the nearly-30-year-old café chain Darwin’s Ltd. are closing, with the original Mt. Auburn Street spot shuttering on November 22. The end dates for the remaining locations are currently under negotiation with Darwin’s United, the employee union. And in Somerville, Union Square’s Casa B has closed after more than a decade; the restaurant’s website includes a note that the team “has decided that the time has come to move on.” The restaurant served Spanish- and Caribbean-inspired small plates and had one of the best under-the-radar cocktail programs around. We’ll be desperately missing its Bad Boy, a spicy, smoky, sweet cocktail that mixed mezcal with lime, orange bitters, and Scotch bonnet-infused pomegranate syrup.

Things to do

Be sure to check out our weekly roundup of great events in and around the city, from music and theater to festivals and art exhibits. Here are a few upcoming food events that’ve caught our eye; follow the links for pricing, timing, and other pertinent info:

  • Tomorrow (November 16) is “’wives and Wine” at Super Bien at the Speedway in Brighton: Watch Housewives, drink wine, and snack on a special spin on a ham-and-cheese empanada.
  • On Thursday, November 17, head to Somerville’s Tasting Counter for a three-course lunch featuring sake pairings from Medfield-based Farthest Star Sake, the region’s only sake brewery. Ticket information here.
  • ’Tis the season for thinking about Christmas, or at least that’s what the Starbucks near me was thinking on November 4 when it was already inexplicably playing Christmas music. But on the plus side, it’s almost time for the annual Sippin’ Santa Christmas-themed cocktail pop-up to start making appearances around the country, including at Boston’s own Shore Leave, where it’ll last from November 22 through New Year’s Day. Think tons of Christmas-themed décor and a cocktail list full of seasonal puns and wintery flavors. Reservations here.